On Friday, the New York Times ran a full-page ad with false and misleading headlines like “The Seizing of Kashmir is Blatant Racism,” and “8 Million Under Siege by a Million Soldiers Since August 5th.” The sponsor for the ad was listed as the International Humanitarian Foundation.
An analysis conducted by the Hindu American Foundation revealed that the International Humanitarian Foundation is registered as a foreign agent with the U.S. Department of Justice.
According to its September 23, 2019 filing, the innocuously named International Humanitarian Foundation is “supervised by a foreign government, foreign political party, or other foreign principal.” The foreign government that IHF represents is Pakistan, a well known state-sponsor of terrorism that has provided safe harbor for terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and Osama Bin Laden. Pakistan is also known for having created groups like Jaish-e-Mohammed, which claimed credit for the 2019 attack on Indian security forces in Pulwama District, Kashmir, amongst several others, as well as the 2002 videotaped murder of American journalist for the Wall Street Journal, Daniel Pearl.
While the New York Times advertising acceptability policy absolves itself from any responsibility for the content of paid advertisements, it does state that, “We also do not accept advertising that accuses an entire country, race or religion as being guilty of a crime. And conversely we will not accept advertising that denies or trivializes great human tragedies such as the Armenian Genocide or World Trade Center bombing.”
“Either the New York Times knew that the ad was paid for by a state-sponsor of terrorism, or it didn’t do its due diligence and was duped into printing blatantly false propaganda under the guise of ‘advocacy advertising.’ Honestly, I don’t know which is worse,” stated Suhag Shukla, Executive Director of the Hindu American Foundation.
“Moreover, of the 25 articles published in the Times since the repeal of Articles 370 and 35A, temporary provisions of the Indian constitution, only one has made mention of the massacre of almost one thousand innocent people and the ethnic cleansing of 350,000 Kashmiri Hindus between 1989-1990. If you go back further, the Times’ coverage in the early ‘90s also ignored one of the major, ongoing human rights tragedies of that era — only four articles between 1988 and 1995, and not a single one mentions the Pakistan-sponsored insurgency, their destruction of sacred sites, and the forced expulsion of the Kashmir Valley’s indigenous people. This combined with Friday’s ad really calls into question the integrity of the New York Times and their reporting on Kashmir. How can anyone trust what they print when they take money from a state supporter of terrorism? The Times owes its readers an apology and an explanation,” Shukla added.
International Humanitarian Foundation was also the listed sponsor for several billboards placed throughout the greater Houston area last week, coinciding with India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi’s visit to the US. The phone number listed for the organization on the International Humanitarian Foundation website is shared with the Pakistan Association of Greater Houston, a Texas-based 501(c)3 tax-exempt, non-profit organization.